All Eyes on Venezuelan Hospital, No Sign of Chavez

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -
A National Guard soldier stops a driver whose taxi cab has a message on the back window that reads in Spanish, “Chavez is alive!” at the entrance of the Military Hospital where Chavez is allegedly receiving treatment in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
A National Guard soldier stops a driver whose taxi cab has a message on the back window that reads in Spanish, “Chavez is alive!” at the entrance of the Military Hospital where Chavez is allegedly receiving treatment in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

In Caracas’s military hospital, there is no outward sign that President Hugo Chavez is a patient other than the motorcades that come and go, and the troops in red berets standing guard.

Atop the Dr. Carlos Arvelo Military Hospital, a sign with a large photo of Chavez smiling pays tribute to the socialist leader.

Some of his supporters shout, “He’s back!” as they drive past. And journalists have been crowding around the entrance of the hospital where the government says Chavez has been receiving more cancer treatment.

The government hasn’t released a single photo of Chavez since his return from Cuba on Monday, and that has some Venezuelans doubting whether he’s in the hospital. Others insist he is there, just out of sight while undergoing treatment.